NICE Backs NHS use of Cosentyx Drug from Novartis

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has backed the utilisation of Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab) in adults with active and progressive psoriatic arthritis.

Progressive psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects joints and connective-tissue, impacting over 117,000 people in Britain.

It can strike at any point during a person’s lifetime, but the most affected the group are those aged between 40 and 50.

The watchdog is already recommending the use of Cosentyx (secukinumab) when a patient has peripheral arthritis with three or more tender joints and three or more swollen joints.

Those that have failed to respond to trials of two standard disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are also recommended to try the new medicine, regardless of whether this is individual or in combination.

Patients who have been treated with a TNF-alpha inhibitor, but failed to respond to treatment within 12 weeks, can also be considered.

Cosentyx is the first in a class of medicines referred to as interleukin-17 (IL-17) inhibitors to be recommended by the institute in this setting.

Commenting on the issue, Professor Paul Emery, director of Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine and Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, suggested that this condition indeed required new pharmaceutical methods in order to be addressed successfully.

“Traditionally, anti-TNF biologic drugs have been used to treat psoriatic arthritis, however 30-40 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis fail to respond to anti-TNF therapies, illustrating the clear need for alternative therapies.”

Emery spoke favourably of the new treatment, suggesting that it could have a positive impact on the lives of patients.

“Secukinumab is the first IL-17A inhibitor which has been shown to significantly improve joint and skin symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, and provides patients with improved physical functioning and quality of life. There is a growing body of evidence that supports the potential of secukinumab to become the standard of care for patients living with this debilitating condition.”

Meanwhile, Dimitrios Georgiopoulos, ‎Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK’s chief scientific officer, suggested that the treatment could help to address some of the geographical inequalities within the healthcare system in relation to this condition.

“The NICE recommendation recognises the clinical importance of secukinumab, which has the potential to be the new standard of care for patients living with psoriatic arthritis. We are now also one step closer to addressing the disparity of care for patients in the UK, given patients in Scotland have been benefiting from access to secukinumab since August 2016 following SMC approval.”

Novartis is a full member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).


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